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Re: Greek flavoring (was: My Apologies about Mysterious sounds)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 5, 2004, 5:57
On Monday, October 4, 2004, at 05:30 , Steg Belsky wrote:

> On Oct 4, 2004, at 7:02 PM, Rodlox wrote: >>> But if the flavor you are after is of ancient Greek, the the >>> inclusion of >>> certain diphthongs is desirable and also one ought to consider >>> whether to >>> include vowel length. I got the feeling - tho I may be wrong - that >>> it was an ancient Greek flavor Rodlox had in mind. > >> *nods* part of me was thinking "seige of Troy"...part of me was >> thinking "destruction of Second Temple". >> yeah, a wee bit of time between them. :) > > In terms of time-period or in terms of Greekiness? > If you're talking about the Jewish Second Temple in Jerusalem, that one > was destroyed by the Romans.
Yes, just a wee bit of time between them - some 13 centuries or so :) (Indeed, in terms of the time humans have been around, it's not so long!) Greek had changed a bit as well. But when we speak of ancient Greek, we don't normally mean the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age written in the Linear B script (that would have been the sort of Greek contemporary with the Trojan War in the mid 13th cen BCE) - but the Greek written between the 8th & 4th cents BCE. By the time of the destruction of the 2nd Temple by the Romans in 70 CE, Greek had become an IAL throughout Asia Minor, the Levant & Egypt; this 'internationalized' greek is known as the Koine ("Common"). But tho it was different from earlier Greek, it is still closer to ancient Greek than it is to modern Greek. So I guess were talking 'late ancient' :) Which reminds me that I was maybe a little misleading when I replied to Ben:
>> For example, [T] is a rare sound but Greek has it. > > Modern Greek does - but ancient Greek didn't. The ancient theta was [t_h] > .
That Ben writes "Greek has it" (present tense) does suggest he means modern Greek. But the change from [t_h] --> [T], as well as [p_h] --> [f] and [k_h] --> [x] is one of the changes that happened during the Koine (i.e. the Koine started out out with the older pronunciation but finished up with the new one). The spellings _Dafne_ (for _Daphne_) and _lasfe_ (for _lasthe_)* are found in the graffiti at Pompeii (destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 CE - just nine years after the Romans had destroyed the 2nd Temple); and [f] was widespread enough by the 2nd cent CE for grammarians to find it necessary to give rules when to write |ph| and when to write |f|. *showing the change of [T] --> [f] which is common in some forms of colloquial Brit English. However there is evidence that the older pronunciation hung on into the 3rd or 4th cent CE in some areas. When languages become widely used as an IAL it's not uncommon to find variation in pronunciations in different places, cf. English in the modern world. So the part of Rolox thinking of the sack of Troy will have [p_h], [t_h] and [k_h]; but that part that is thinking of the destruction of the 2nd Temple will be edging towards [f], [T] and [x] :) Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]